Have you seen Glenn Gould play a Brandenburg concerto?

You have now.

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  • My word! And the flautist and the violinist too … you hear things you don’t normally here in today’s performances – often gone through like a dose of salts!

    Thanks Norman!

  • Another recording, this time with Gould less prominent as director and playing the keyboard part in the Cantata #54 with Russell Oberlin. I first heard this on a sleepless night in a Tokyo hotel when I switched on to one of the NHK channels. I consider it one of the finest of the non-original instrument performances and return to it frequently.


    • I miss Gould, too, but I don’t think one can compare him with other pianists because he was so very different. Once, in a music magazine whose name has slipped my mind, there was a telling review of Gould’s idiosyncratic recording of the complete Beethoven sonatas: the reviewer gave it 0-10 points out of 10. And right he was: Glenn Gould could not be judged by ordinary standards, he was a law unto himself.

  • I heard a repeat [or a prequel] of this performance by the Detroit Symphony on tour in Boston in the Fall of 1961; program also included Walter Piston’s New England Sketches, and Gould playing the Strauss Burleske. Amazing.

  • Norman, the second performance – the one on video, is the CBC orchestra with Toronto Symphony members. I know because 12 seconds in I see my father…and other familiar faces.

  • The problem with Gould was that he put himself between the music and the listener, instead of serving the music. The musical intensity is almost always marvellous, but in the same time irritating because of his erratic approaches.

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